Published : 10 February 2016
When it comes to predicting upcoming trends in interior design, those in the know ALWAYS check out Maison & Objet - one of Europe's largest interior design exhibitions. MO Paris was held at the end of January, filling eight enormous halls with the most amazing designs, from big brands to individual designers.
To prove my point, one of the biggest attractions at the show was a Steinway piano studded with 1000 black crystals on the Lalique stand. Rival French crystal brand, Daum, countered with a 6ft peacock made of opaque white glass, with a crest of pearls and sapphire/diamond eyes.
Yep, we're talking very serious trend-setting here - hence the show's importance.
I'm not for one moment suggesting you should install a 6ft peacock in your home, but this is certainly a show that inspires ideas.
Marble and glass
One very clear trend to emerge from the show was the importance of marble and glass in 2016.
Marble tabletops are so 'in' it's not funny - but we're not talking any marble here. The trick is to combine marbles, such as rosy pink with verde green.
And the stunning offset to marble is, of course, glass - and lots of it, from tabletops to tableware, lamps, and even jewellery. Coloured, hand-made glass is totally on-trend this year.
Noticeable through most of the designs was the use of sharp lines and geometric shapes, from china to clocks.
Colour-wise, think pale - but not whites. This year's hues are based around powder pinks, smoky greys and willow green. For a totally cool avant-garde look, pair these colours with black, and maybe even a touch of gold.
Retro is always in style, of course, and only recently we talked about the return of wallpaper on this blog. Revamped versions of designs from the 70s, 80s and 90s were evident at MO Paris, particularly in furniture and fabric designs.
But the really good news for those who like to flaunt their individuality is that kitsch is back!
Ercol have dusted off the old room divider, while Philippe Starck - he of the Triffid-style lemon squeezer - was showing off his pink dinosaur table!
In most respects, of course, kitsch totally goes against the whole marble and glass fixation but, just like choosing black as an interior paint, it shows flamboyance and courage.
However, if this is a look you're going to attempt in your own home, remember that there is a very thin line between kitsch and really bad taste!
Kitsch is all about colour, statement and excess. If you're going to do it, prepare for some negative responses from some of your visitors.
Breaking the rules
Kitsch is about breaking the rules, combining colours and textures that shouldn't be combined. But if you want it to work well, it's probably advisable to come up with a theme, and try and stick to it.
For example, you could keep walls and ceilings neutral but go for colourful internals doors, window frames or dressings, and accessories.
A clever kitsch idea - that will also save you money - is creating your own dining suite, using an old wooden table surrounded by wooden chairs, all painted a different colour. It's cheap, fun and practical.
Another kitsch idea I love is the harlequin tea set. Trawl through antique and op shops and you'll often find just one matching cup, saucer and side plate. Start collecting and you'll soon have enough for several people to enjoy afternoon tea, each with their own 'theme'. Fine bone china works best for this.
So, just a few ideas from Europe to get you on track to be totally on-trend in 2016!